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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

MicroRNA expression patterns in canine mammary cancer show significant differences between metastatic and non-metastatic tumours

Bulkowska, Malgorzata; Rybicka, Agata; Senses, Kerem Mert; Ulewicz, Katarzyna; Witt, Katarzyna; Szymanska, Joanna; Taciak, Bartlomiej; Klopfleisch, Robert; Hellmen, Eva; Dolka, Izabella; Gure, Ali O.; Mucha, Joanna; Mikow, Mariusz; Gizinski, Slawomir; Krol, Magdalena


Background: MicroRNAs may act as oncogenes or tumour suppressor genes, which make these small molecules potential diagnostic/prognostic factors and targets for anticancer therapies. Several common oncogenic microRNAs have been found for canine mammary cancer and human breast cancer. On account of this, large-scale profiling of microRNA expression in canine mammary cancer seems to be important for both dogs and humans.Methods: Expression profiles of 317 microRNAs in 146 canine mammary tumours of different histological type, malignancy grade and clinical history (presence/absence of metastases) and in 25 control samples were evaluated. The profiling was performed using microarrays. Significance Analysis of Microarrays test was applied in the analysis of microarray data (both unsupervised and supervised data analyses were performed). Validation of the obtained results was performed using real-time qPCR. Subsequently, predicted targets for the microRNAs were searched for in miRBase.Results: Results of the unsupervised analysis indicate that the primary factor separating the samples is the metastasis status. Predicted targets for microRNAs differentially expressed in the metastatic vs. non-metastatic group are mostly engaged in cell cycle regulation, cell differentiation and DNA-damage repair. On the other hand, the supervised analysis reveals clusters of differentially expressed microRNAs unique for the tumour type, malignancy grade and metastasis factor.Conclusions: The most significant difference in microRNA expression was observed between the metastatic and non-metastatic group, which suggests a more important role of microRNAs in the metastasis process than in the malignant transformation. Moreover, the differentially expressed microRNAs constitute potential metastasis markers. However, validation of cfa-miR-144, cfa-miR-32 and cfa-miR-374a levels in blood samples did not follow changes observed in the non-metastatic and metastatic tumours.


microRNA; Canine mammary cancer; Human breast cancer

Published in

BMC Cancer
2017, volume: 17, article number: 728

Authors' information

Bulkowska, Malgorzata
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Rybicka, A.
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Senses, Kerem Mert
Bilkent University
Ulewicz, Katarzyna
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Witt, Katarzyna
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Szymanska, Joanna
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Taciak, Bartłomiej
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Klopfleisch, Robert
Free University of Berlin
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry (AFB)
Dolka, Izabella
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Gure, Ali O
Bilkent University
Mucha, Joanna
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Mikow, Mariusz
Veterinary Clinic ELWET
Gizinski, Slawomir
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Król, Magdalena
Warsaw University of Life Sciences

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and well-being

UKÄ Subject classification

Medical Bioscience

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